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Umut Oran : A brand new CHP candidate

Thursday 17 April 2008, by Cüneyt Ülsever

Umut Oran is a surprise candidate to run for the leadership of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) at the party convention later this month.

A 45-year-old courageous man who wants to run for the leadership of the most rooted political party in Turkey, he is quite impressive for me. With this in mind, I met him over the weekend.

Turkey, with its young population, needs fresh blood in politics as well as in the business world, I repeated many times. If you may recall, I also supported 39-year-old Süleyman Soylu’s candidacy at the Democrat Party (DP) convention. And in fact, I closely follow his performance as the party leader.

I do believe the period of old veteran politicians should come to an end. And I also believe the success of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) depends on its young and dynamic cadres.

A history of business

Born in 1963, Oran graduated from Saint-Benoit High School and the Marmara University Faculty of Economics. He joined professional life at Bozkurt Mensucat, a Koç Holding subsidiary. Oran founded his own company “Domino Tekstil Ürünleri Sanayi ve Dış Tic. A.Ş.” (Domino Textile Products Company and Foreign Trade Inc.) in 1992. Domino Textile, with the mission of exports in ready-made clothing, founded its own integrated sewing plant in Bolu in 1997 and the Seben branch followed in 2004.Oran was elected President of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association (TCMA) in 2002 and remained in office until 2005. President of the European Apparel Manufacturers Association since 2002, Oran led the World Ready-Wear Clothing Industrialists Federation between 2002 and 2003. Conducted by the TCMA, the “Investment and Employment in Anatolia Incentive Project,” under his leadership, won the “Regional Development Project Based on Export Award” from the Dünya newspaper in October 2002, the “Social Responsibility Award” of the Platin Ekonomi and Aktüalite Magazine in addition to the “Business World, Economy and Entrepreneurship Award” in the contest for “Turkey’s Most Successful Young Man,” organized by the Junior Chamber Turkey in 2003.

Oran currently serves as President of the Board of the Turkey Ready-Made Clothing Industry and of the Bolu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Oran managed to win so many awards despite his young age. His postures and attitude prove his dynamism. Although he is not directly involved in politics, this young man has an incredibly wide network of communications thanks to involvements with numerous NGOs. In fact, Anatolian people whom he met during civil society activities convinced him to run for the CHP’s leadership.

And I realized during our conversation that he closely follows what’s going on in the world. In various think tank organizations he ponders over carrying social democracy into the 21st century. Oran designs projects to allow social democrats in Turkey to embrace people and their integration with the world, while underlining inter-party democracy.

Not a quitter

As far as I see, one of his most significant qualities is that, regardless of the outcome at the convention, Oran sees politics as a marathon and adjusts his strategies accordingly. I had a feeling that he is not a quitter.

Naturally, the delegates will decide who will be the next leader of the party at the CHP convention on April 26-27.

They will determine both the course of the party and of the country and share the responsibility of their decision. I hope the CHP delegates carefully follow Oran’s views and suggestions.

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Source : Tuesday, April 8, 2008 TDN

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